Draft:Solan Goose (album)

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Solan Goose
Studio album by
Released2018 (2018)
GenrePostminimalism, ambient,[1] neo-classical[1]
ProducerErland Cooper

Solan Goose is the first solo studio album by Erland Cooper, released in 2018 on Phases. The album is the first of a triptych that reflects on the natural world surrounding Orkney, with its tracks each taking their titles from Orcadian dialect words for birds.[2]


In an interview feature for the Guardian, natural history writer Patrick Barkham notes that Solan Goose "was hatched almost by accident", explaining that Cooper's increased sense of claustrophobia at living in London had led him to return to his homeland of Orkney through music.[2] As with his releases as part of the band The Magnetic North, there is a clear influence of psychogeographical approaches to artistic production, with particular focus placed on the relationship between landscape and music.[2] This influence has been noted by critics, some of whom note Cooper's "gift for active listening – to what he hears around him, and how he responds to that soundscape".[3]


Cooper cites minimalist techniques as central to his compositional approach.[2] He has claimed in interviews that Solan Goose was the product of "always trying to write the simplest thing, trying to do more with fewer notes". Barkham describes Solan Goose as exhibiting a "combination of contemporary classical, ambient and electronica".[2]


Solan Goose received acclaim from artists and critics alike. The writer John Burnside wrote positively of the record for the New Statesman, noting that, "while we still have music like Cooper’s, we may continue to practise the fine art of listening to the world we share with the birds".[3] The website Stationary Travels wrote of Solan Goose as being "a vivid and transportive sonic portrait that sweeps the listener up into its exhilarating narrative".[4] The Arts Desk cited Solan Goose as one of its Albums of the Year in 2018.[1] Many of the album's track received regular national airplay in the UK, especially on BBC Radio 6 Music.[5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
musicOMH4.5/5 stars[6]
The Arts Desk4/5 stars[1]
The Skinny3/5 stars[7]

Track listing[edit]

2."Solan Goose"4:35
10."Tammie Norie"2:42

Companion works[edit]

Cooper also released two companion works to Solan Goose: the album-length ambient work Murmuration (2018), in collaboration with William Doyle; and the 'ambient disco' EP Nightflight (2018). Stationary Travels described Murmuration as "a haunting, chimerical reverie in which to get completely and pleasurably lost".[4] In an interview with The 405, Cooper describes Nightflight as a meditation on nighttime flight patterns of birds, one taking the form of "a recycling of layers" in which "chaotic energy com[es] together".[8]


  1. ^ a b c d Colombus, Katie (13 December 2018). "Albums of the Year 2018: Erland Cooper - Solan Goose". The Arts Desk.
  2. ^ a b c d e Barkham, Patrick (8 January 2019). "'If it moves me to tears, I've achieved what I wanted': nature's songwriter Erland Cooper". The Guardian.
  3. ^ a b Burnside, John (15 April 2018). "How a seagull, a short-eared owl and an oystercatcher have released an album". New Statesman.
  4. ^ a b "Video Premiere: Murmuration by Erland Cooper & William Doyle". Stationary Travels. 20 July 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "Erland Cooper". BBC Music.
  6. ^ Hogwood, Ben (25 March 2018). "Erland Cooper – Solan Goose". musicOMH.
  7. ^ Butchard, Stephen (19 March 2018). "Erland Cooper – Solan Goose". The Skinny.
  8. ^ McMullen, Chase (5 November 2018). "A Conversation with Erland Cooper: Recording in ancient burial grounds, nearly dying (& then making friends) in Hungary & music as a salve". The 405. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]

Category:2018 albums